Biography

Navaz began as a musical collaboration between Neda Jalali and Eric Tompkins. Eric's jazz and Latin guitar stylings and his interest in world music compliments Neda's beautifully haunting voice. The mystical poetry of Hafez and Rumi, traditional Persian melodies, jazz, Latin and blues rhythms are all part of the Navaz experience. In 2008 they released their second CD titled Onsu – The Other Side. Since then they have performed on CBC a number of times (notably, Canada Live) and at festivals and other venues. In the summer of 2012 they released their third CD Fire Within.


Eric Tompkins (Guitars)

Since the early 1970s Eric has performed in a variety of musical genres, including blues, jazz and classical. In the 1980s he studied jazz improvisation and arranging at Capilano College. He has worked and performed with a wide variety of groups including his own production with the Prince George Symphony Orchestra. Since 2007 he has been composing, recording and performing with Neda Jalali and Navaz.
Eric Tompkins


Neda Jalali (Vocals)

While growing up in Iran, Neda acquired a vast repertoire of Persian songs, ranging between folkloric traditions and Iranian pop music. A few years after leaving Iran she began singing professionally in clubs and concert halls throughout Europe. Although Neda sings mostly in Farsi, she also sings in Spanish, French, Italian, Arabic, and English. She frequently opened the stage for well known Persian musicians such as Hayedeh, Aslani, and Leyla. In the late 1990s she toured England with Iranian superstar Moein.
Neda Jalali




Peyman Rouhandeh (setar, oud)

Peyman started playing the setar under the instruction of Mrs. Padideh Ahrarnejad at the age of 17. Later, in 2003, he continued studying the setar under the supervision of master Behrooz Hemmati where he learned the radif of Persian classical music. During that time he improved his skills by learning and playing many setar pieces from master musicians such as Abolhasan Saba, Gholam Hossein Darvish, Saeed Hormozi, Yousef Forutan, Ahmad Ebadi, Hossein Alizadeh, Mohammadreza Lotfi, and Jalal Zolfonun. He has also attended several tar and setar workshops of Master Hossein Alizadeh. Peyman has performed in several concerts at Shahid Beheshti University, the Andishe Center of Art and Culture, and the Khavaran Center of Art and Culture. Since 2010, Peyman has been studying the oud from master Hossein Behruzinia, and has been performing with Navaz and other ensembles.


Raghu



Ali Razmi (Tar, Setar)

Ali Razmi obtained his MA in music at the Art University in Tehran. He is an innovative and creative tar and setar musician with over 17 years of experience as a soloist. Ali has performed in a wide variety of genres, including traditional, pop, and fusion. Among his many achievements, he has performed as a soloist for the Iranian Philharmonic Orchestra, improvised with Master Shajarian (Iran's leading singer in traditional Iranian music), and worked with Mehran Modiri, and Mohamad Esfahani’s group, Iran's top pop music performers. In 2002 Ali performed at the Jahane Khusrau Music Festival in New Delhi as a member of the Rumi Group.


Ali Razmi



Mohammad Seyyedi (Tonbak, Daf)

In his early years Mohammad Seyyedi took tonbak lessons under the guidance of maestro Dariush Eshaghi one of the most established and influential musicians in Iran. He then continued learning at an advanced level with Ahmad Mostanbet and Arash Sharghi. With maestro Sharghi he pursued his musical passion by learning daf (a Persian frame drum). Since moving to Canada, he participated in several performances and collaborations with bands such as Kasra, Hamnavaz, Delband and Navaz. He has participated in Persian music workshops at the University of British Columbia and for the Prince George Symphony Orchestra. Currently, he is teaching Persian percussion at UBC and Nava Art Institute.


mohammad



Raghu Lokanathan (Accordion)

For the past 10 years Raghu has been making a name for himself as a consumate musician - first as a gifted singer/songwriter, and second as a versatile musician. As a skilled accordionist he has conducted workshops at festivals across Canada. Over the last year he has been playing accordion with Navaz. His vast knowledge of European and Latin American genres fits well with Navaz's eclecticism.


Raghu



Shawn Smith (tenor sax, keyboard, guitar)

Since the 1970s, Shawn has spent many years performing in Montreal and New York, as well as touring across Canada. His skills on tenor saxophone (and other instruments) are evident in his ability to perform any kind of music, including jazz, Latin, rock and world music. In addition to being a respected music teacher, Shawn is a sought after session player.


Raghu



Bardia Sadeghi

Bardia’s debut on tonbak was on a Friday morning show at Iranian National Radio Network at the age of three! His playing has earned him many prestigious awards: he won first place at the winner of the Tonbak Festival in Tehran on 1993, and he was the winner of the Fajr Festival in 1994 and 1997. Since moving to Canada a few years ago, Bardia has established a solid reputation as an outstanding percussionist.


Bardia Sadeghi


Other members:
Richard Jenne - drums
Curtis Abriel - bass
Nima Ghehami - santoor
Bardia Sadeghi - tonbak
Paul Bergman - bass